Leave the Gamblers Alone

Why can't adults be left to do what we want to do?

Some of us like to gamble. Americans bet a hundred million dollars every day, and that's just at legal places like Las Vegas and Indian reservations. Much more is bet illegally.

So authorities crack down. They raided a VFW branch that ran a poker game for charity. They ban lotteries, political futures markets, and sports betting. They raid truck stops to confiscate video poker machines. Why?

On my Fox Business News show tonight, Chad Hills of Focus on the Family says: "These machines have been shown to be extremely addictive. That's a huge concern, primarily for kids, because it's hard to keep them away."

Well, I certainly agree kids shouldn't gamble, and some people do wreck their lives. But why can't adults be left to do what we want to do?

Hills and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), both eager to ban gambling, talk about "addiction" leading to bankruptcy, crime, and suicide.

I'm skeptical. People are responsible for the consequences of their bad habits. I thought Focus on the Family and conservatives like Kyl believed in self-responsibility.

On my show, professional poker player Andy Bloch points out that, legal or not, gambling already goes on everywhere. Prohibition doesn't rid society of an activity. It drives it underground, where it's less visible and less subject to respectable social conventions.

As for people getting into trouble, Bloch noted that after online gaming was legalized in the United Kingdom, "they found that there was no significant increase in the number of problem gamblers."

Hills, on the other hand, claims that a 2006 anti-Internet gaming law reduced gambling. "People say this drives gambling underground," he added. "I'm like, good, drive it underground."

I point out that people still find the gambling sites.

"But it makes it extremely difficult. You have to be fairly desperate to do it."

I doubt that anyone who wants to gamble illegally has trouble doing it. And let's not forget the official corruption that black markets encourage. Law-enforcement people take bribes to look the other way. It's an old story.

Hills claims that the 1999 National Gambling Impact Study concluded that 15 million Americans are problem and pathological gamblers. But like many people who want to ban things, he distorts the data. The study's 15 million "problem gamblers" included people who might get in trouble.

"Ninety-nine percent of the American public has no problem with gambling," Bloch says. "They should have the freedom to gamble if they want to gamble online. There is no casino that is being forced into people's homes."

By the way, Hills said he'd oppose legal gambling even if it weren't associated with wrecked lives. Why? "Gambling is the art and the science of deception that feeds on the exploitation of human weakness for the sole purpose of monetary gain."

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  • Tim||

    You want to gamble, invest!

  • ||

    Investing isn't "fun" for most people. Poker is.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Government is perfectly fine with gambling - as long as it the entity getting the gambling revenuue.

    The politicians simply don't want any gambling competition from any other party that would reduce the take on their state lottery operations.

  • Mike M.||

    Exactly, and I'm surprised that there are smart libertarians who apparently still don't seem to understand this.

  • ||

    Hence, why smarter libertarians recognize that the state's mononoply on the administration of justice has no place in a free and civilized society.

  • ||

    Yeah, God forbid you actually use skill and knowledge in a gaming transaction, like sports betting or cards.

    Games of chance are scams.

  • ||

    Yes, but poker is a game of mathematics.

  • ||

    So? It's not chance. You can affect the outcome.

  • ||

    Methinks we are making each others point.

  • ||

    yep- gambling is a style of poker play, and a bad one at that. Its been written that the best poker players rate their cards third on a list of considerations prior to any action. I think the first two are money you have and position at the table

  • Impoverished Single Black Mom||

    Of 5.

    But I know I'm gonna win soon!

  • qwerty||

    15 million problem gamblers? That is total BS. I'd bet him that the number is much less.

  • ||

    Heh.

  • ||

    Yeah considering that 15 million people is something close to 5% of the entire US population, I'd have to agree.

  • ||

    Yes, but 40% are liberals, and thus put themselve AND the rest of us in danger. Let's ban them, or at least send them offshore.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Wasn't that a a check box on this year's census? I can't for the next one to ask if you like to participate in "glass bottom boat".

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    That should have been a reply to qwerty...

  • Uh huh||

    This should have been a reply to your first comment.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Yes, bad eyes and stolen glasses do make it hard to see what one is doing.

  • ||

    So governments push their own inferior games while outlawing better ones run by private business. That's insane. People gamble anyway, criminals get involved, and by forcing Internet gambling offshore, America loses a $12 billion industry.

    Gambling does prey on weakness and innumeracy. It disproportionally harms the poor and uneducated. That's why I want the government out of the gambling business.

    Here in Michigan (probably your state too) the lottery is touted as benefiting education as all profits go to public schools. I am 100% certain when the budget is drawn up, the numbnuts in Lansing factor in lottery proceeds when calculating how much tax revenue goes to towards education.

    I have o problem whatsoever with private enterprise engaging in it, everybody knows that businesses are out to make a buck.

    The states only legitimate interest in gambling is uncovering and prosecuting fraud.

  • ||

    How does getting Government out of the gambling business affect the disproportionate harm issue?

  • ||

    Government-run gambling tends to be the worst sort of odds, and I suspect that it gives the government the wrong sort of incentives. If the government is going to have a monopoly on justice, then it should be an impartial arbiter, not someone with a stake in the game.

  • ||

    It doesn't. But the government should not be encouraging foolish self destructive behavior.

    I'd get the states out of the liquor business as well.

  • ||

    In Michigan your greatest gamble is Detroit.

  • ||

    No. Politics is the art and science of deception. Gamblers know they are taking a risk. A lot of people think politicians are the embodiment of their own beliefs...from the right team, of course.

  • Warty||

    Politics is a soft word for stealing.

  • West Texas Boy||

    It is so hard to convince pie in the sky types of this basic fact.

    "Paying taxes is voluntary!"

    "OK, so what happens if I don't pay?"

    "They throw you in jail."

    "So they implicitly threaten me with force to make me pay. Isn't that the same thing as robbery?"

    "That's not the same thing and you know it! We have a duty to take care of each other and you're not living up to your duty if you don't pay!"

    [scratching eyes out]

  • ||

    You can also get thrown in jail if you eat dinner at a restaurant and don't pay the bill. Does this mean eating at a resturant is not voluntary.

  • ||

    Eating at the restaurant is voluntary, paying the bill after volunteering to eat there, is not. In other words: Choosing to use their services- Voluntary. Paying for those used services- Not voluntary.

  • ||

    Okay, subsititute "government" for "resturant" and it's the same, right?

  • ||

    No, it's not the same. You don't pay for services you do not use in a restaurant. With government, you pay whether you used the services or not.

  • ||

    It's not exactly the same, but then again I don't use the services of New York City and have never been asked to pay NYC taxes either.

  • ||

    That's because you are not on New York City's "property". If you were, you would be paying them. I'm sure you are paying for being on another city's or county's property regardless of the fact that you don't use any of their services. You do not pay for being on a restaurant's property. You only pay if you use services while on the property.

  • Tony||

    yepper,

    Restaurants could theoretically have cover fees. It's their property, they can charge what they want.

    You are on the people's property, and the people of your community get to decide what to charge you for the privilege. You may disagree that your property isn't sovereign, but that doesn't reflect a reality in which titles are issued.

  • The Gobbler||

    The fuck I am on "the people's property. The title to my estate says I own it, not the state. And just becaose they tax me for owning it doesn't make it thiers.

  • Tony||

    The title grants you a lot of rights with respect to your property, but they are not unlimited. You really are in a way paying rent to your community for the privileges that come with having property.

  • ||

    If they take it, it is theirs.

  • ||

    And also, with the taxes issue. What makes it different is, even though you have the choice of using the government services or not, you do not have the choice of whether you pay for the services whether you used them or not. In a restaurant you do not pay for services you do not use. You can not be thrown in jail for not paying for a shrimp dinner you did not order.

  • ||

    But at a resturant your bill helps to cover costs associated with running the place that may not be directly tied to what you actually ordered...for example you are paying for the art on the walls even if you didn't "choose" it.

  • RM||

    Yes, but you can choose not to eat at a restaurant. You can't choose not to live in a country (well you can but it's hardly practical).

  • MJL||

    So you go out to a restaurant with a bunch of friends and their kids. You order a small salad and water. Your friends and kids all gorge themselves. After dinner the waiter asks "separate checks or all on one?". A politician stands up and says "I propose one single check, and those with no kids pay 20% more, let's put it to a vote". How do you suppose the vote would turn out? Democracy in action? Or robbery? If you have a choice about whether or not to eat with these "friends", that's one thing. If you have no choice but to eat with them, it is robbery. Which scenario is most like how government works?

  • ||

    The other side of that scenario is that if you eat at a resturant and tell the waiter, "I didn't use the restroom here today, so please deduct from my bill the amount that otherwise would go towards paying for the restroom because it's robbery if I am forced to pay it..."

  • ||

    But you can't choose not to eat, and whatever or whereever you end up eating you're going to pay for the food...

  • re-defiler||

    True, but in yepper's post, you're already paying for the elected officials salaries, operating expenses along with the services you use. The government is adding things to your bill, like charging you for appetizer, salad, soup, 2 entrees, all 34 multinational side-dish choices (so nobody ever feels lonely or bad), desert, some California-French sounding thing you've never heard of, coffee, and food-to-go. Worse still is that every time you go to the restaurant, almost half the other customers get the same massive bill, but don't pay a dime because it gets split between the other half of customers... at gunpoint. Not too mention the mandatory gratuity... but not for parties of 2 or more, for all unmarried singles.

  • drosz||

    Then get enough folks together and vote out everyone who favors taxes. Now you have no taxes to pay...and no cops either...or roads...or sewer...or legal systems. Good times. I think I'll probably go gambling first thing after that election!

    look decent points are always brought up about taxres being forced. Yes, it's forced payment for many things you may not use, but somebody DOES use tjhose things. If you don't want them to have that money, you have to convince enough of your fellow community members to vote folks into office who feel the same and will cut the cord...so to speak. You're represented. This ain't ole Georgie the Mad taxing the colonists's tea to punish them. There exists interest group politics in America. Those with the most votes will get the most loot.

  • ||

    Just by existing in this country you are at least consuming so of those services you claim you shouldn't have to pay taxes for. Drawing the plat and creatign the deed for the land you own is a service. The police and fire protection. The military's protection from foreign invaders. These are services you consuem jsut by being here.

  • ||

    I've always been curious at how gambling would exist within libertopia. How much competition would it take to squeeze profit margins? I assume a lot. Thus, in libertopia, one would think that gambling ventures would be as common as gas stations are today. Is that really a bad thing? I don't know, but I will admit that I'm hesitant to find out.

  • ||

    Upon what factual, empirical basis do you assume that gambling houses would be as omni-present as gas stations?

  • ||

    That when they briefly had video poker legal in South Carolina, it seemed like every gas station had one.

  • ||

    Most gas stations in my state sell lottery tickets and scratch games so I would contend that they already are omnipresent.

  • MrGuy||

    They are in fact about as common as gas stations in Europe. The only difference is that they aren't very busy. Maybe gambling is such a big deal in the states because it's not common...

  • ed||

    The same factual, empirical basis that assumes legal gambling would lead to human/sheep marriages, polygamy, and immigrant-organs flea markets.

  • The Gobbler||

    Then I say FULL SPEED AHEAD!

  • ||

    The easy profit that comes with setting up a gambling operation would encourage a vast array of entrepreneurs in a legal gambling society.

    Bet on it.

  • ||

    "Upon what factual, empirical basis do you assume that gambling houses would be as omni-present as gas stations?"

    Because gas stations are everywhere.

  • ||

    It does not seem to hurt England all that much. They gamble legally on anything and everything. It simply shifts the wealth around.

  • ||

    Is that true? I know there's a National Lottery. But can any Joe off the street setup their own Lottery? Or install their own slot machine? Or run a gaming table?

  • Some Guy||

    FWIW it's almost as easy to play poker online now as it was when it first started....including depositing and withdrawing money. I do it, lots of my friends do it. None of them are desperate, as Senator Hills claims.

    What is worrisome is that there seems to be no legal recourse for players caught cheating (Justin Bonomo, Nick Grudzien, etc.) The main reason for this is that the online poker sites are held offshore where American courts have no jurisdiction. Sure, a player caught cheating usually gets banned from the site and ostracized in the poker community, but that's about it. If poker sites were run in the U.S. and regulated like real casinos, I imagine there would be another boom in online poker. That added assurance of an honest game with legal recourse would do wonders.

    The idea that the federal and state governments want to keep online gambling illegal is absurd on its face....mostly because of the state-run and state-sanctioned lotteries that states get revenue from, as mentioned. If someone is going to play the lottery, they will probably play the lottery regardless of whether they also play poker. The state wouldn't lose out on much lottery revenue. Also, states with indian casinos naturally get a cut of the take.

    It's also absurd because it's our money, and we should be able to do what we want with it.

    "Gambling is the art and the science of deception that feeds on the exploitation of human weakness for the sole purpose of monetary gain." That's just laughable. Most players I know do it because they enjoy it. If they win, that's nice...if they lose, it won't break the bank. And what business isn't in business to make money?

    As mentioned on another article comment thread, what smacks of hubris more..."I should make decisions for myself" or "I should make decisions for everyone"?

  • cindy||

    SomeGuy,
    You are an idiot! I want poker too, but I would rather not see your ugly face at a table!

  • ||

    Religion is the art and the science of deception that feeds on the exploitation of human weakness for the sole purpose of monetary and power gain. Fixed it for Mr. Hills.

  • ||

    Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute me so?

    Who art thy Lord?

  • ||

    "It's also absurd because it's our money"

    15Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.

    16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

    17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Washington, or not?

    18 But Obama perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

    19 Shew me the fiat currency. And they brought unto him a dollar bill.

    20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

    21 They say unto him, Washington's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Washington the things which are Washington's; and unto God the things that are God's.

    22When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

  • ||

    And later crucified him, with any luck.

  • Parker||

    And if he rises, get him again!

  • J_L_B||

    Perhaps this is one of the few areas where we should support a massive government gambling bureaucracy. Given their ineptitude with most everything else, the house might not always win in a government-run casino, and the smarter among us might be able to comfortably live off the government.

  • ||

    Gambling is a tricky topic because it is true that for most people, it is a fairly harmless recrational activity, at least on the individual level.

    But in the bigger picture, gambling amounts to a mechanism for the rich to take money from the poor. This causes problems, and those who advocate legalized gambling across the board usually don't have any good solutions for them beyong shrugging their shoulders...

  • ed||

    [shrugs]

  • ||

    Ban the poor from gambling.
    No poor persons and under 18s allowed.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Only people who sign a statement saying that they don't five a fuck about dumbasses who lose all their money gambling can gamble. Would that statiate your marxist impulses enough to stop pointing a gun at me for using my own mother shruggin money to bet on stuff? I mean it would only be the bad poor people who were losing to bad rich people then, right?

  • ||

    Ya know, it is possible some poor people are poor because they make bad decisions with their money. For instance, gambling away your money when you don't have available disposable income for such an activity is an example of a bad decision.

  • ||

    Gambling is against Christian values, and the second you get rid of Christian values, you might as well sanction murder.

    Quality trolling or not?

  • ||

    [shrugs]

  • Mike M.||

    Eh. You've got a long way to go before you can rise to Dan T. level.

  • ||

    Yeah, you're hitting close to the mark like I usually do.

  • ||

    I realize now that "murder" was too obvious. I should have set the slippery slope endpoint at something more reasonable, like stealing or cheating, or gone all the way straight to "man on dog". I'm learning.

  • Judas||

    Christian values = 1) hating gay people, 2) worrying about imaginary babies, 3) _____?

    Isn't that about it nowadays? I don't think gambling is still on the list.

  • Fuck Losertardians||

    Losertardian values = 1) hating all chaste and moral people, 2) promoting a Holocaust for infants over the imaginary "rights" of promiscuous and genocidal bitches 3) loudly and proudly opposing just wars that liberate millions of people from oppressive dictatorships.

  • ||

    I don't hate chaste and moral people; I feel sorry for them b/c I'm having more fun.
    I oppose abortion b/c I choose the rights of the kid who's waiting to be born over the rights of the mother. That kid didn't choose to get created.
    When was the last war that liberated millions from oppressive dictatorships? Are you talking about US America's imperialism in Iraq, Afghaniland, and elsewhere? If so, I say good luck in your goal of making the rest of the world hate the U.S.; you're doing a great job.

  • Thomas O.||

    I don't hate chaste and moral people, but I intensely hate when they try to ban the things I watch, do, play or listen to. If it satisfies your soul to adhere to a certain belief system and its rules and guidelines, fine with me, but don't impose those rules and guidelines on everybody else. Let the gamblers gamble, let the potheads toke, let the gays marry each other... basically let people do what they want as long as they're not harming others in the process. And if they harm themselves... that's their tough luck and weak will.

  • ||

    Saul??

  • CAB||

    So your saying morality only exists in christian values... fuck that noise.

  • CAB||

    So your saying morality can only exist in Christian values... fuck that noise.

  • Fuck Losertardians||

    So you're saying your morality is any good. Fuck you.

  • ||

    Credit should not be allowed in gambling at all. It should be a cash in hand operation. Kinda like using the gold standard for money. People should not be allowed to gamble with assets they do not have. Actually, that would be a good rule for the stock market as well.

  • ||

    "People should not be allowed to gamble with assets they do not have."

    What if I borrow 500 $ and go to a casino. How would you stop me?

    "that would be a good rule for the stock market as well."

    So you would ban short selling?

  • Thomas O.||

    I wouldn't stop you, but I'd hate to think what would happen to you if you blow that $500 and the lender sends Bruiser after you to collect.

  • ||

    People gamble every time they buy stock. What's the big deal with gambling? If you don't think a bet is a good offer, then don't take it. Fucking nanny knows best government lovers.

  • Tony||

    I actually agree with Stossel, but would expand upon it. Vices that don't involve harming others shouldn't be outlawed, but we should also have readily available treatment programs for people who develop problems.

  • The Gobbler||

    People gamble invest every time they buy stock

    Words have meanings.

  • Mike M.||

    You have better odds than you do at the craps or roulette table, but let's be honest, when you invest in any stock you're taking a gamble.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Actually, investing IS different from gambling though both involve risk.

    Contrary to truebelievers in BushObamanomics, all business activity involves risk. Investing in a business venture therefore necessarily involves risk. The gains and losses from such investments are therefore the outcomes of taking the risk necessary to accomplish some other objective that one believes will be gainful.

    The risk taken in a gambling transaction is created for no other purpose than for one party to win and another to lose, though perhaps a third party will take a rake on the transaction.

  • ||

    Thank a Christian.

    Can we stop pretending this is about big government and lay blame where it actually lies? John? Anyone?

    This is all due to the religious right. And, by the way, gambling isn't even mentioned in their bible, the (supposed) exclusive source for all morality in this country going back to its founding.

  • ||

    Can we stop pretending this is about big government and lay blame where it actually lies? John? Anyone?

    This is all due to the religious right.

    Hmm, seems like you're still pretending. In NC a lot of the opposition to a state lottery came from the Left, like from Dean Smith.

    The religious right is certainly opposed, but saying that it's "all due" isn't close to true.

  • Thomas O.||

    Agreed. Both political sides have their reasons for these unnecessary bans on stuff like this. Cons/Repubs: it's morally wrong. Libs/Dems: it's detrimental to impoverished communities.

    You can say (almost) the same thing about legalizing pot. Cons/Repubs: it's morally wrong. Libs/Dems: Our law-enforcement-union-member delegates are opposed to it.

    And gambling actually IS mentioned in the Bible. Weren't the Roman soldiers "casting lots" for Jesus' clothing at his crucifixion?

  • ||

    How were they supposed to know he'd want it back after he was dead?

    What I take from this is: Don't bet against Zombies.

  • ||

    Saul! I have found you!

  • Nitori Kawashiro||

    “Focus on the Family”? Sounds like some kind of yandere led stalking cult. Which family are they focussing on?

  • Fuck Losertardians||

    The one you don't have because you're fucking bastard.

  • Nitori Kawashiro||

    So which family are you focussing on then?

  • ||

    You know, I thought about replying to Tony @ 2:28, but then I remembered.

    I don't feed trolls.

  • ||

    Tony's right, because we could tax the vice and tax the rehab program.

    @8)

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    I try. I fail sometimes, but I try.

    Is Dan T a troll-by-committee now, or is he real? I honestly can't tell any more.

  • ||

    "I don't feed trolls" = "I refuse to acknowledge any viewpoint other than my own."

  • RM||

    Dan T. = I sidestep all arguments that I can't address.

  • bob||

    Imagine if the government ran brothels like they run lottery. What a disgusting disaster that would be, just like lottery, shocker.

  • ||

    I'm just imagining what the brothel version of the K-Car would resemble...all I'm getting is a Janet Reno visual.

  • Fuck Losertardians||

    I can hardly think of a fate more fitting for you pro-gambling losertardians than for the government to do that very thing. Worse than any prohibition the government has ever enacted and enforced is any activity it has ever mandated.

  • MJL||

    and it would be a Public Employee's Union, so Helga with 30 years of seniority would get to work first....

  • CatoTheElder||

    They did run a brothel. It went bankrupt.

  • TruthOffering.com||

    The reason we cannot be left to do as we please is because those truly in power -- think CFR, Bilderberg, International Bankers (RIIA), et al. -- believe we must be controlled. Just take a step back and look at our country; we're already 90% of the way toward communism. We have a central bank, which Vladimir Lenin himself said is, "...90% of communizing a nation"; we have a progressive income tax, one of the main planks in the Communist Manifesto; not to mention countless government organizations whose power grows more and more by the day through the utilization of scare tactics instigated by the elite-controlled media.

    Check out a few of our article on this subject; I think you'll all find them enlightening.

    "Does Your Vote REALLY Count?":
    http://www.truthoffering.com/c.....count.html

    "Is This Communism or Am I Crazy - Part 1":
    http://www.truthoffering.com/p.....art-1.html

    There's even more -- check it out and feel free to leave your thoughts. If you have information you think we should see, please leave that info in your comments.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Okay, everyone, start your live blogging.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Troopers don't support the troops.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Chad is the poor man's anti-gambling politician.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I wondered why Canada was a smoking ruins. Now I know: Internet gambling!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ANDY WOULD THROW THAT MINUTE NUMBER OF ADDICTED GAMBLERS TO THE WOLVES JUST SO THE VAST MAJORITY OF RESPONSIBLE GAMBLERS ARE FREE TO DO WHAT THEY WANT!

    Shame on him.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "It is a great mistake to protect people against themselves."

    -a guy who looks like Barney Frank

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Frank doesn't do interviews with people he can't convince solely using the volume of his voice.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Illegal and immoral!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    This just in: authoritarians are hypocrites.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Selling hope and collecting change.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    State lotteries get poor people to pay taxes. Voluntarily.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Call me when they figure out how to race cats.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Hellooooooooo, Brooklyn.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Steve is killing.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Arrest Stossel! He's pushing gambling on Sarah Palin!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The crowd told James to offest his dimple to the right side of his chin.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Open your eyes, you fools. THAT CROWD SUNK THE SUBMARINE!!!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The wisdom of the crowd scuttled the idea of using the wisdom of the crowd.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Regulation is not banning. Non-answer.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If we at Focus on the Family weren't against things like gambling then what would we do all day?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    John's poker buddy is for the Wall Street bill!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Questioner's girlfriend is not happy with Brooklyn's pwning of her man.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The biggest hypocrite of all up next. Who could it be? Eliot Spitzer? Bill Bennett? So many choices.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Kenny Rogers cover? Terrible.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    What's the crack cocaine of crack cocaine?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    At John's poker game he has a token...

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    liberal!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Intrade is witchcraft, the very worst kind of craft!

  • ||

    Liberal here, and I find gambling bans depressing. Personally, I would never give my money away to gambling companies when there are excellent charities that could put it to good use, but that's just me and I don't care what other people do.

    In fact, I get angry when religious types moan about the harm gambling causes to society, because in my experience the societal harms are more than made up for by the economic gains. For every dumb ass retiree feeding their life savings into slot machines, there's a single mom getting paid well to bring them drinks. The riverboat casino in my hometown brought 1,100 jobs and transformed the town from a shithole to a livable community.

  • ||

    Government doesn't want anybody else in on its take.
    But it'll happily let you blame religionists.

  • Dan Umanoff, M.D.||

    To say that human's have control over things addictive is ignorant. I've been writing about the disease that causes addictions since 1992. I named this disease hypoism after hypo for low reward activity. These people, about 15% of the population, have genetic low reward activity in the decision-making apparatus - the reward center - and get addicted to things that raise the reward activity which are human instincts, the evolutionary reason for the reward center, and drugs that stimulate this brain region and therby raise the reward activity. These people are the ones who get addicted and they have absolutely no control over that. The rest of the population with normal reward activity don't get addicted because they can't. They have complete control. There's no overlap. The addictionologists have been deliberately wrong about this for a hundred or more years in order to keep them a moral issue for political reasons. Read the science about this and its implications here: http://www.nvo.com/hypoism/the.....ypothesis/
    and http://www.nvo.com/hypoism/hypoismhypothesis/ .
    Until we get the theory right we will do all addiction policies wrong because we're using the wrong theory to devise policies. My book, Hypoic's Handbook, goes through all this in detail.

  • ||

    And so we, that is, the ones with the "normal reward activity" should do...what?
    I'm for allowing the addictives to feed on their weaknesses, then watching the results simply for the pure amusement.
    It's like allowing Democrats power from time to time, only a lot less harmful.

  • ||

    Or it should have no influence on policy as this is an issue of Liberty. If you really want to market your book I might suggest building a website with design and coding that's not from 1995.

  • jacob||

    "I thought Focus on the Family and conservatives like Kyl believed in self-responsibility."

    No, dipshit. Conservatives are statists, too.

  • Marc Valdez||

    (Liberal here, with gambling issues.)

    Drunk driving can be fun and harmless too, providing you ignore the occasional collateral damage, as Mr. Stossel seems intent on doing with regards to problem gambling. At least the authoritarian Focus on the Family folks take the issue seriously. Libertarians like Stossel do not.

    A lot of problem gambling can be controlled with absurdly simple remedies. For example, in Queensland, AU, I was defeated by a law there that makes credit-card-based cheque-cashing services illegal. It's a nice little nanny-state regulation that works. Introduce THAT into the USA and you would cut off half the casinos' revenue immediately. All you need are a few speed bumps to slow the problem gambler down. Minor technical fixes. Casual gamblers wouldn't even notice these things. The fact that we won't even consider them in the USA says all you need to know about people's REAL priorities.

  • Mikey||

    "Absurdly simple remedies"

    1. Not going into the casino.

  • ||

    Gsmbling is generally a sucker game (where do you think they get all the money to build casinos?), but if the government wants to outlaw all sucker games involving deception, then they need to ban campaign speeches.

  • ||

    "Gambling is the art and the science of deception that feeds on the exploitation of human weakness for the sole purpose of monetary gain."

    Oh wait, I thought that was politics.

  • ||

    Am I being led to believe by two of the posters that a gambling addiction is a genetic disorder? And if this is or is not validated why do the majority of people get punished for a small minorities disorder? I guess maybe there should be a ban on all peanut and nut products because a small percentage of people have allergies. :0

    Just curios if the good doctor and the addict would elaborate.

  • ChristianLouboutin||

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  • tadcf||

    For the same reason conservatives are constantly trying to implement new limits on a woman's right to choose as far as abortion goes. Mr. Stossell, do you support Pro-Choice, or Anti-Abortionism?

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  • ||

    Government does not want competition with its lotteries. Any gambling site that has a 50% vig would be shut down in an instant.
    I also wonder if Stossels views on marijuana are the same?

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